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Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood released the following statement in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the backlash from U.S. legislators who are trying to cut off resettlement in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris last week.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“At Planned Parenthood, we believe everyone deserves compassionate care, and to be safe and healthy — no matter what.  Our doors are open to everyone, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or country of origin.  We would hope this country would hold itself to that same standard.

“Instead, it is appalling to see many in our country try to turn their backs on people, many of whom are the most vulnerable, including those with disabilities, women and children, fleeing in terror for their lives just when they need our help the most.”

“Refugees have left everything behind, and are forced to negotiate their safety in unfamiliar countries and languages. They face unique barriers to care — a situation our global programs work to rectify abroad, working with our partners to provide basic health care services to women and families living in poverty, in conflict-stricken areas, or threatened by unimaginable violence.

“We have seen firsthand the fear that those who have been forced to flee their countries face, and how it can be compounded by callous policies, such as the Helms Amendment, which has been interpreted to ban U.S. foreign assistance funds for abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is endangered. Planned Parenthood is proud to be a place of refuge and compassion for those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care. The United States was founded on those very same values, which is why it is shameful to see those values disavowed in Congress today.”


Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


November 20, 2015